Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Andrew Griffin, Helen Ostovich
Not Peer Reviewed

All's Well That Ends Well (Modern)

Enter one of the [French Lords, 2 Lord], with five or six other soldiers in ambush.
2 Lord
He can come no other way but by this hedge-corner. When you sally upon him, speak what terrible 1915language you will; though you understand it not your selves, no matter, for we must not seem to understand him, unless someone among us, whom we must produce for an interpreter.
1 Soldier
Good captain, let me be th'interpreter.
19202 Lord
Art not acquainted with him? Knows he not thy voice?
1 Soldier
No sir, I warrant you.
2 Lord
But what linsey-woolsey hast thou to speak to us again?
19251 Soldier
E'en such as you speak to me.
2 Lord
He must think us some band of strangers, i'th'adversary's entertainment. Now, he hath a smack of all neighboring languages; therefore, we must every one be a man of his own fancy, not to know what we speak 1930one to another; so we seem to know is to know straight our purpose: choughs' language. Gabble enough and good enough. -- [To Soldier 1] As for you, interpreter, you must seem very politic. -- [To all] But couch, ho! Here he comes, to beguile two hours in a sleep, and then to return and swear 1935the lies he forges.
Enter Paroles.
[Call or horn marking the hour] Ten o'clock: within these three hours 'twill be time enough to go home. What shall I say I have done? It must be a very plausive invention that carries 1940it: they begin to smoke me, and disgraces have of late knocked too often at my door. I find my tongue is too foolhardy, but my heart hath the fear of Mars before it, and of his creatures, not daring the reports of my tongue.
19452 Lord
[Aside] This is the first truth that e'er thine own tongue was guilty of.
What the devil should move me to undertake the recovery of this drum, being not ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I 1950must give myself some hurts, and say I got them in exploit. Yet slight ones will not carry it: they will say, "Came you off with so little?" And great ones I dare not give. Wherefore what's the instance? Tongue, I must put you into a butter-woman's mouth and buy myself 1955another of Bajazeth's mule if you prattle me into these perils.
2 Lord
[Aside] Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?
I would the cutting of my garments would serve 1960the turn, or the breaking of my Spanish sword.
2 Lord
[Aside] We cannot afford you so.
Or the baring of my beard, and to say it was in stratagem.
2 Lord
[Aside] 'Twould not do.
Or to drown my clothes, and say I was stripped.
2 Lord
[Aside] Hardly serve.
Though I swore I leapt from the window of the citadel --
2 Lord
[Aside] How deep?
Thirty fathom.
2 Lord
[Aside] Three great oaths would scarce make that be believed.
I would I had any drum of the enemy's; I would swear I recovered it.
19752 Lord
[Aside] You shall hear one anon.
A drum now of the enemy's --
Alarum within
2 Lord
Throca movousus, cargo, cargo, cargo.
Cargo, cargo, cargo, villianda par corbo, cargo.
Oh, ransom, ransom!
[They blindfold him with his own scarf.]
Do not hide mine eyes.
1 Soldier as "Interpreter"Boskos thromuldo boskos.
I know you are the Musco's regiment,
And I shall lose my life for want of language.
1985If there be here German or Dane, Low Dutch,
Italian, or French, let him speak to me:
I'll discover that which shall undo the Florentine.
1 Soldier as "Interpreter"
Boskos vauvado. I understand thee, and can speak thy tongue. Kerelybonto. Sir, betake thee to thy faith, for 1990seventeen poniards are at thy bosom.
1 Soldier as "Interpreter"
Oh, pray, pray, pray! Manka reuania dulche.
2 Lord
Oscorbidulchos voliuorco.
19951 Soldier as "Interpreter"
The general is content to spare thee yet,
And, hoodwinked as thou art, will lead thee on
To gather from thee. Haply thou mayst inform
Something to save thy life.
Oh, let me live,
2000And all the secrets of our camp I'll show,
Their force, their purposes. Nay, I'll speak that,
Which you will wonder at.
1 Soldier as "Interpreter"
But wilt thou faithfully?
If I do not, damn me.
20051 Soldier as "Interpreter"
Acordo linta.
Come on; thou are granted space.
Exeunt [with Paroles].
A short alarum within
2 Lord
Go tell the Count Roussillon and my brother
We have caught the woodcock, and will keep him muffled
2010Till we do hear from them.
2 Soldier
Captain I will.
2 Lord
A will betray us all unto ourselves.
Inform on that.
So I will sir.
20152 Lord
Till then I'll keep him dark and safely locked.